So, last Saturday, my laptop died.  Ish.  It powered up, but the screen remained dark.  After much troubleshooting, I was resigned to likelihood my laptop had given up the ghost and switched to my old back-up laptop (which Akemi had suggested I upgrade because she feared it was near the end of its lifespan.  Given the laptop was only two years old (and one month), I figured it was possibly a minor issue – yknow, one of those jiggly cable loose connections.  Alas, no.  The Genius at the Apple store informed me that the screen would probably need to be replaced at the cost of roughly $1000.  $1000!  No doubt picking up on my displeasure, he suggested I contacted Apple Support to see if they could do anything for me.  So, the next morning I spoke to Apple Support and told them the situation.  It was a two year old laptop.  It had not been damaged.  I hadn’t dropped it.  I hadn’t spilled water on it.  Apple Support informed me that, unfortunately, my warranty had expired and there was nothing they could do for me.  Well aware of the fact that the call was being recorded, I politely informed him that the fact I would need to replace my screen two years into the life of the laptop – not to mention the fact that my buddy, Ivon, had to have his motherboard replaced three months after purchasing his – did not instill much confidence in the product and… Dial tone.  He had hung up on me.

Fine.  So I took it to twitter and posted the following…

I was ready to do it, people!  My greatest motivation has always anger, spite and/or revenge, so I was already lining up my new non-Apple laptop when, some twenty minutes later, apologizing for losing me (“Don’t know what happened there.”) and informing me that they would be able to cover the cost of the screen after all.  I thanked him, dropped off by laptop yesterday, and picked it up today.  On the one hand, it works.  On the other hand, all of the pre-existing data has been wiped.  Also unfortunately, I’m unable to find the device containing my last timed back-up from 2022.  The only one I can find is from 2020.

But fear not!  I have iCloud storage.  All I have to do is input my apple password, click “restore from iCloud” and it’s all hunky dory, right?

Alas, no.  That’s not an option.  You can restore from a timed back-up.  You can restore from another Mac.  But for some inexplicable reason, you’re unable to restore from iCloud even though we are led to believe that everything is backed up on iCloud.

Am I missing something?

15 thoughts on “March 30, 2023: IT experts in!

  1. Sadly, iCloud backs up passwords, contacts, calendar and preferences but not data. However, when you took it to the Apple Store they should have given you back a completely perfect laptop with all your backups and contents. If you were using TimeMachine to run backups you should have up to the day you turned it in access to those backups. I’d get an appointment at the Genius Bar at the Apple Store, bring your receipt and get them to go into the terminal and do a restore. If you backup manually, do you use another hard drive to keep backups? If so, bring that hard drive with you.

    Good luck. Rita

  2. Go with an Android Operating System.
    I have Samsung phone, tablet and lap top and haven’t regretted it at all.
    I still own a Dell PC(Microsoft) for the house for printer, fax, scan but it uses a walker to get around

  3. Oh no. I’m sorry you’re going through this. I’m not expert. Just wanted to check in with you.

    If you’re looking at a non-apple laptop, my son picked out a little laptop for me that I love. It’s an Asus Zenbook. It folds into a laptop, is a touch screen, comes with a “pen” to draw on the screen and is super thin. My mom is 86 and I knew I’d need something portable.

    My hubby’s work supplied everyone with a mac and the keyboards had to be replaced on for the whole team. I think the quality might have gone down. Still, it’s going to an adjustment switching OS’s. You might want to go look at a few Macs before you make the decision.

    If it’s just the screen not working, can you use a docking station with a different monitor and still use the computer? I have a docking station at home. With my docking station, I can use a larger monitor (I picked a small laptop), a full size mechanical keyboard and a wired mouse.

  4. I’m not sure why replacing the screen would wipe the hard drive and require reinstallation. That is very weird. Did it still have your log in and account stuff but just missing data, or did it look like a totally new install of the OS? If the latter, I’m wondering if you actually wound up with a whole new/refurbished laptop. Your Apple account should show the serial no. of the old one, so it would be interesting to compare it to the “fixed” one.

    Rita is not wrong, iCloud will not automatically backup all data (although I suppose you could manually set it up). But… you last backup is from 2022? Joe. We need to set you up with a better backup system. Ideally, backing up on rotating media with at least one copy always off-site (in case of fire, flooding, or, um, meteor impact) would be the way to go. That takes quite a bit of discipline though.

    Um, that reminds me – I need to check on my backup setup…

  5. I have no faith in Apple. My friend’s I-phone didn’t work properly so she got another a couple of years ago, now that one is malfunctioning also. All my androids continued to work until I had to upgrade because the network was upgrading.

  6. Anyway, even if you did decide to switch to PC and Android products … you may still have similar problem as Apple products. But problems with PC/Android will usually be a much easier and cheaper fix because they are non-proprietary … No Genius bar, but lots more people who can fix PC for you. Having said that, for decades now, none of my PC/Android products ever require fixing, just needed a once-in-a-while reformatting.

  7. Oh no! I had the disk in my home server fail a couple of months ago. I didn’t have any backups and had to set everything up again. Luckily it was just the system disk, not the data disk so I didn’t lose anything I couldn’t recreate. But it still took me a couple of weeks to get everything back the way I wanted it!

    I can’t help you with getting your files back, I don’t know Macs very well. You should always assume that if you send a computer away to be repaired that it might come back without your data. It sucks but sometimes it needs to be done. Back when I used to repair computers for a living I would always check with my customers before I wiped the disk. But, of course, I was operating on a slightly smaller scale than Apple!

    I’d recommend getting a small Network Attached Storage solution (something from Synology on QNAP for instance) and enable Time Machine backups on it. Then your computer (and any other computers in the house) will backup to the NAS automatically. You can also configure the NAS to replicate the backups to Cloud storage so that if the NAS and your computer are destroyed (in a fire, earthquake or alien invasion for example) the backups are stored in a datacentre somewhere (that the aliens haven’t got to yet).

    It definitely helps to have a tame nerd on hand to help with these things if you have no inclination to do it yourself!

  8. Sorry. I read your tweet and replied to that. That’s when you were trying to decide.

    If they knew the drive would be wiped, why didn’t they tell you beforehand? My hubby/son always make fun of the Apple “Geniuses” but they both hate Apple. They sneer at my iPhone and it’s true their Samsung phones are more advanced.

    Just for future reference, my son’s old Dell laptop has bad screen. It’s too old for Dell to replace, so he uses the laptop as a server. I still believe you could have used your old laptop with an external monitor and pulled your content off of it.

    Oh and my hubby uses OneDrive for cloud backup. We can pull things off of OneDrive to our phones (even my iphone), or to our laptops.

    1. They did state it was a possibility but at that point, I couldn’t retrieve anything off the hard drive.

  9. Apple always (or should) tells you that when you send something in for repairs, they may need to wipe out the hard drive and reinstall everything so please back up your data or ask (read “pay”) for it to be backed up for you.
    I switched from PC to Mac a long time ago and haven’t regretted it yet, other than the cost being over the top I’m free from viruses and other things that slowed my pc/laptops down to a snails pace. I also had to replace my pc/laptop a lot more times than I had to my Mac or iPad.
    All that being said, I’m getting sick of the rising costs and the “buy proprietary cables or we slow down your charging” BS.
    Meh, Skynet/ChatGPT can’t come soon enough.
    All Hail our new Overlords!

  10. iCloud backup? Humf. I keep getting emails from “people” saying my iCloud payment didn’t go through and to try it again. I don’t have no iCloud! Look honey, it’s those damn scammers again.

    You know… about that horror movie… the one about the blogger who if he doesn’t blog every day bad things happen… Maybe you could also make it to where his followers even have bad things happen to them too?

    PS: Who’s Rita?
    (she seems to have disappeared)

  11. Okay, I caught this late (COVID loves to wipe my brain for a week at a time) but here goes from my decades of experience with tech:-
    1. Stick to a PC or Windows laptop and not a rotten Apple.
    2. If the screen fails so early in its life then it’s a serious issue. In the last 20 year’s I’ve only ever had one screen issue and that was a small cable connecting screen to keyboard unit that does get worn out if you’re using the laptop open/closed a lot of times. It took me a few weeks to learn how to take the lid apart and install a new cable. That laptop still works since I bought it, in 2005.
    3. After DECADES OF EXPERIENCE – lesson: always have an identical backup machine.
    4. If the screen does fail you can sometimes plug an external monitor into it and get it to boot up and see what happens.
    5. Before ever sending anything away for repairs: Backup. Backup. Backup. Or learn how to pull out the hard drive (impossible in an Apple?).
    6. Regularly – BACKUP.
    7. Throw away the rotten apples, you could probably get two comparable/superior Windows laptops for that same price.
    8. And yes, I know how unreliable a Windows machine could be, hence the backup machine.
    9. And if you want to be more “technical” run all your date off to an externally-attached hard drive or small portable attached server (so you can use mirror hard drives for redundancy backups). Keep nothing on your PC/laptop but on a mobile, secure drive to switch to another machine.


  12. This is usually just backlight not working. your laptop if it boots up is probably fine and connect and external display it will probably work. Use a flashlight and shine it through the screen from the front. Can you see anything?

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